I have had dreams of publishing my books since I was very young like seven years old. I’ve been writing fictional stories since I was in middle school and I was scared to share my work with the world. I doubted myself, it was never perfect and I figured no one would read it anyway. I also thought it would be so much money to publish a book. Then in 2020, when the world was at a standstill, I got serious about becoming a published author.
I had two containers full of notebooks that were full of stories. And a little backstory on these containers is that we have had to bounce around from home to home and I never lost these containers. It was just a sign that I had something with my writing and I needed to just put it out there. I typed up all these stories in Word and then I did some research on what I needed to do to publish my first book. I decided to test the waters with a poetry book first and I learned a lot from that experience.
When I published my first book, I remember just feeling lost even though I did a ton of research on how to do everything. I remember having the hardest time formatting my book, trying to get the book cover just right and what platforms to use to sell for my book. And I did rush to get this book out at the end of 2021 because I just wanted to try publishing a book before the year ended. And I learned a lot from this experience and did things way differently with my second book.
I recently published my second book. This time it was a fictional chapter book and I tried not to rush this project and take my time. I actually enjoyed the process much better the second time and felt a lot more confident about the work I put out and the publishing process. These are the six tools that I think helped me most.
Useful Tools For New Writers
This is a great resource for writers to help prepare your book for publishing. This site has a free writing tool so you can format your book and create professional e-Pub and PDF files in seconds. The site also allows you to connect with publishing professionals to help you with editing, designing your book cover and anything else you need help with. Of course, there’s a cost for the professional help. Reedsy has great information for new writers so if you’re feeling lost, this is the perfect starting point. I used the online writing tool for my first book but found it limited so I went with a paid option for my second book.
A big mistake I made with my first book was not going through my book with a fine tooth comb and paying close attention to the small things. I had to correct some typos and making sure punctuation was correct. With my second book, it literally took fifteen edits for me to get it to a good point when I only looked over the first book two times. I suggest going back to your work several times at different times to get it “perfect”. You can hire a professional editor to go through your book or you can do the tedious process yourself. This time around, I used Grammarly which is the best writing tool. I was able to download an app and it follows me everywhere on the computer to correct my spelling, grammar, delivery and clarity. Using this with my second book was a life-saver because it helped me to make my writing more clear without compromising my creativity.
Book Formatting Software
As I stated above, for my first book, I used Reedsy online tool. Though it was a great free option for my book, I found it limited and I wanted to explore my options for the second book. I should also mention I’m using a Windows PC and I found the perfect software for me. I am now using Atticus which costed $147 dollars and that’s a flat fee. You can use this tool online or offline which I love. Formatting my book using Atticus was seamless and easy. I feel like it took forever last time to get my book formatted somewhat decent and this one got it right away. You can see how your book will look on different devices and you can write and format the book in one place. You can import your document into the software as well. It was money well-spent and I’m glad I bought this software for my second book and will continue using it.
This is so important so you can have an idea on how it will look on e-readers and format your book accordingly. And it’s just important so you can open and view epub documents. I’m currently using calibre and it’s free and easy to use e-book manager. There are hundreds so do your research and find the best one for you.
Graphic Design Program
I use Canva for everything it seems from social media posts to book covers. Now with the book covers, you have to make sure you get the sizing just right so it appears the way that you want. Canva is also great with creating great promotional and marketing tools for your books. You can even create business cards and have them printed with this site. What you choose to use is up to you. I like Canva because I can still do a lot with the free version and the paid version is even better. A graphic design program will be a powerful tool for you so you get familiar with the program and have fun. You can use Adobe Spark, PicMonkey, FotoJet, Snappa and the list goes on and on.
Let’s talk about PlaceIt. Beautiful images captures people’s attention and PlaceIt helps with that. The site has mockups and designs ready to use so you can beautifully stage your books. This is a great promotional and marketing tool to have. There’s a free and paid version so check it out!
These are the six tools that I use most as a new writer. If your dream is to be a published author, don’t be afraid. Do your research, have fun and just get your book out to the world. Happy writing!
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